WASHINGTON — As police investigate who scrawled “Trump nation whites only” on a sign outside a Silver Spring church, and who drew a swastika in a Bethesda middle school bathroom, Montgomery County’s state’s attorney says there’s a difference between vandalism and free speech.
“I think as Americans, we recognize that there are tremendously broad free speech protections that exist in the United States,” said John McCarthy. “Just because something is offensive does not make it illegal.”
McCarthy said he has heard anecdotes from around the region of gloating, taunting comments aimed at minorities, often mentioned in conjunction with the election of Donald Trump.
“These kinds of demonstrated activities are instances where we as a community have opportunities to educate people on issues of tolerance, particularly with our kids in schools,” said McCarthy.